When it comes to finances, in order to make any changes to our situation, we need to reflect on our relationship with money. Just like going on a diet, we take time to re-evaluate what we eat and compare it to what we should be eating. Money should not be any different when it comes to adjusting our financial goals and re-evaluating our actions. In order for us to make the proper changes and adjustments to reach our financial goals, we need to first realize that there is an obstacle we are looking to overcome.
To be honest, it really isn’t easy to admit we may have an unhealthy relationship with money. Sometimes we may not realize that our habits can be our biggest red flags because we are so accustomed to doing things a certain way. Luckily, there are times where certain signs are there for us to acknowledge, so that we can take the first steps in the right direction. Here are three signs you may have an unhealthy relationship with money:
- You tend to convince yourself that even your most questionable purchases are, in fact, a need. We always like to talk about needs versus wants, and this is a perfect scenario where we may have blurred lines to distinguish what really is a necessity. When we can be completely honest and transparent with ourselves, we can be truthful in realizing that some of our purchases may just be impulsive spending. Just remember, it is okay to buy things that you “want”, we are just focusing on the point that if you must convince yourself that your purchase is a need (when you know it’s not), then that could lead to having an unhealthy relationship with your finances.
- You refuse to look at your statements and transaction history. This sign is a huge red flag for those of us that have experienced this before. If you tend to throw away your bank mail right away or ignore looking at your transactions when you login to your online banking, this may just be you. When we start going down this slippery slope, we begin to fear our reality. In most cases, we just simply do not want to see how much debt we accumulated or how low our available balance might really be.
- Your financial situation stresses you out, affecting your sleep and daily activities. Personally, having gone through this myself at one point in my life, I completely understand how mentally and emotionally draining your finances can be. Therefore, it is so important to be able to recognize the signs that your relationship with money may not be healthy after all.
The positive side to all of this is that once these signs are recognized, you will be able to confidently come up with your action plan. Some questions you may want to ask yourself to get started are:
1. What do I want to accomplish financially?
2. What feeling would I like to diminish when it comes to my finances? (Stress, sadness, anxiety, etc.)
3. What are some financial milestones I would like to hit in the next 12 months? (Pay down debt, have an emergency fund, etc.)
Remember, acknowledging your situation is the first step towards being able to improve it. Be confident in everything you do and reassure yourself that this is just a minor bump in the road on your journey. Financial freedom is your destination!